GYMNASTICS--- Northern Illinois University at State of Illinois
Classic / at Chicago, IL / University of Illinois-Chicago, host
/ Saturday / March 19, 2005
1. Illinois-Chicago 195.250
2. Illinois 194.000
3. Northern Illinois 192.750
4. Illinois State 191.250
wins all-around title but bars troubles doom NIU Gymnasts to third
at Illinois Classic
CHICAGO, IL-With just one more weekend of competition remaining
before the Mid-American Conference Women's Gymnastics Championships,
Northern Illinois University can look to junior Ashlee Williams
and start to feel pretty good about its chances. Williams seems
to be peaking at the right time, winning her second all-around title
of the year to lead the Huskies to third place at the State of Illinois
Classic Saturday (Mar. 19).
Williams (Liberty, MO / Senior)---who also won the all-around crown
in her very first meet of the season against the University of Illinois-Chicago
all the way back on Jan. 9---outscored three Flames competitors
again on her way to meet titleist honors. The junior became the
first Huskie to eclipse the 39.000-mark this season, posting a four-event
total of 39.025.
"That's a huge score for Ashlee," NIU head coach Mark
Sontag explained. "It's really encouraging for us to see
numbers like that as we move towards later part of the season."
Ironically enough, one of Williams' best performances of the afternoon
came on one of NIU's weakest events as she posted a 9.825 on the
uneven parallel bars to tie with teammate Katie Willett (Hastings,
NE / Adams Central) for third place. Lisanna Goldschen (St.
Joseph, MN / Apollo) actually chipped in with a 9.700 as well, bur
that's where it fell apart for the Huskies. The other three NIU
scores on bars all checked in at 9.100 or less, forcing the Huskies
to take a 47.525 as a team and slip back in the standings.
"That was a really rough start for us on the bars," Sontag
added. "We suffered three uncharacteristic falls and that really
hurt us. If we don't have those falls, I think we could have made
things very interesting towards the end of the meet."
It cancelled out solid team efforts on the vault and floor exercise
where Northern Illinois put up 48.700 or better. Williams led the
charge on the floor, winning the event with a 9.850. Kristina
Campos (Gladstone, MO / Oak Park) provided some solid support
with a third-place 9.800 while Amy Ristvedt (Alexandria,
MN / Jefferson) earned a top-ten finish of her own in eight place
with a 9.750 that helped push NIU to a 48.725.
The story played out the same on vault where it was Ristvedt pacing
the charge with a 9.800 that was good enough for third place.
Kelly Kramer (Long Lake, MN / Benilde-St. Margaret's) took home
a spot in the top-five with a fifth-place routine that netted a
9.775. Williams and Campos weren't far behind the duo with identical
9.725 performances. As a team, the Huskies scored a solid 48.700.
Williams also added a 9.625 on the balance beam to tie for team-high
honors with Campos. Campos posted a 9.075 on the beam as well to
finish the meet in sixth place with an all-around total of 38.225.
Both gymnasts earned all-state honors along with Willett and Ristvedt
for their efforts.
UIC won the four-team meet on its own home floor with a 195.250.
The University of Illinois racked up 194.000 points to finish second,
followed by the Huskies (192.750) and Illinois State University
who rounded out the quartet at 191.250.
Northern Illinois hits the road for its final dual meet prior to
the MAC Championships when the Huskies head to league power Central
Michigan University Sunday (Mar. 20). Action is set to begin at
1:00 p.m. (CST).